The first £40m tranche of the UK’s £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), is now open for research bids with £15m to be used for work in relation to agriculture, farm animals and food systems.
Research bodies have until June 22, 2016, to declare an “expression of interest” in securing funding and until mid-late September this year to submit a full proposal. The freedom to make such a proposal, however, will be made available on an invitation only basis, as decided according to the strength of the original expression of interest.
The £15m farm and food sector part of the GCRF programme is being handled by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), whose chief executive, Professor Melanie Welham, commented: “The UK research base has a vital role to play in helping to improve the quality of peoples’ lives across the world.
“Challenges around disease prevention, energy and food supply and conflict resolution pose a threat to us all, no matter where we live. BBSRC is delighted to be working in collaboration with many partners to ensure our community maximise the potential of the new fund.”
BBSRC applicants are advised to address the following research issues:
- Systems that deliver safe and nutritious food for all
- Resilience of the food system to climatic variability
- Reducing losses throughout the agri-food chain and reusing unavoidable food waste
- Agriculture within the context of the wider landscape
- Urban agriculture
Funding awards are expected to consist of “moderately sized short-to-medium term investments” which are not expected to exceed £600,000 per project.
Awards are expected to start on April 1, 2017, with a likely lifetime of around 24 months.